N. K. West, Pioneer Merchant,
Dies At Summerville Home
Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon for N. K. West, pioneer La Grande merchant who died Saturday night of a heart attack at the age of 73.
Last rites will be said for Mr. West, who founded the firm of N. K. West here 41 years ago, at the Snodgrass chapel with Rev. George H. Marrs, pastor of the First Baptist church, in charge. Burial will be in the Masonic cemetery beside his daughter, Ada, who died 18 years ago.
Nathaniel Kendrick West was born at Mondovi, Wis., Aug. 31, 1866 and when a young man moved to Portland, where he entered the clothing business with his father, N. K. West Sr., on Portland’s east side, later being set up in business by his father with a younger brother, Thaddeus, now dead. Mr. West was one of a long line of pioneer merchants that kept the name of N. K. West in the clothing business in La Grande and Portland for the past 60 years.
He was married in Portland, his wife Mattie, later dying.
He came to La Grande in 1899, with J. D. Smith, still an employee of the West firm. and bought out the Jay Brooks clothing and dry goods company, located in the same building as the present store.
About two years after the death of his daughter, Mr. West married Mae Robinson of La Grande, who survives him.
He died about 11:15 Saturday night after arising from bed.
Although engaged in the clothing and dry goods business, Mr. West also enjoyed farming, and the West dairy ranch near Summerville was long his hobby. It was at the farm, the family home, that Mr. West passed away.
Mr. West was also a dairyman, and was long engaged in this business at the farm, going into business with the Enkay dairy in 1932.
He sold the department store end of the business to Falk’s in 1929, buying back the men’s clothing department in June 1935.
Shrewd, but kindly, with a strong personality, Mr. West was highly respected by his friends and business associates, and retained a keen mind and active participation in the West business until the end.
Surviving him besides his widow are included a grandson, Kendrick West Siegrist, a brother Orval, of Multnomah, a son-in-law Herman Siegrist, two nieces in Portland and one in Summerville, Mrs. Harlan Robinson.
La Grande Evening Observer,
Monday, 13 November, 1939, Pages 1 & 3.
Contributed by: Robert C. Bull